Super Bowl or Super Spreader?

Carter Mudgett, Government Reporter

Tampa will make history this Sunday, Feb. 7, by becoming the first NFL team to hold the Super Bowl in their own stadium. Despite this historical event, officials are taking heavy precautions in ensuring the safety of Super Bowl LV. With COVID-19 continuing to rage across the country, this year’s event is guaranteed to be unlike its predecessors.

Don Crisman holds tickets from the first three Super Bowls, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Kennebunk, Maine. Crisman is one of three fans who have attended every Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Thousands of fans are expected to attend the event and participate in yearly celebrations despite the constant looming threat of the pandemic. The NFL has decided to allow only 22,000 spectators into the stadium, including 7,500 vaccinated health workers.

“We are making sure this is a safe event for everyone,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor about the event, We are climbing up on the world stage, and one thing I can guarantee you is Tampa Bay is going to dance like we’ve never danced before.” 

COVID-19 will not only affect sports fans attending the Super Bowl live, but also fans throughout the entire country. 

“Don’t go to a Super Bowl party […] we can’t repeat the mistakes of the past,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer last week, referencing both the Dodgers and the Lakers championships in late 2020. 

The CDC has released new pandemic guidelines to help protect fans from COVID-19 during the big game. Recommendations include hosting a virtual Super Bowl watch party, “[decorating] your home with your favorite team’s logos and colors,” and even attending a socially distanced outdoor watch party. 


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